In Charlotte, Jim Utter reported ESPN NASCAR reporters Dave Burns and Mike Massaro "will make the move" to NBC Sports in '15. Sources said that Burns is "expected to become part of NBC’s pit road reporting team in NASCAR while Massaro is expected to become an in-studio host." Burns currently "serves in a similar role with ESPN as does Massaro, who has hosted the show 'NASCAR Now' and worked pit road during race telecasts." Burns worked with NBC when the network "previously broadcast NASCAR events" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 1/11).
THE RIGHT STUFF: In Philadelphia, Matt Gelb noted the Phillies must send 34% of the TV rights fee from their 25-year deal with Comcast to "MLB's revenue-sharing pool." The rights fee is the "only part of these TV deals" subject to MLB's revenue-sharing. Thus, teams "making these deals find profit in other areas, like an equity stake in the network and a share of advertising revenue." Those aspects of the Phillies deal "could be worth billions more" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/12).
TURNING THE PAGE: ESPN says that it saw an uptick in the rate base for ESPN The Magazine, which grew to 2.1 million from 2.0 million. The increase coincided with a 9.4% increase in '13 ad pages. ESPN The Mag also saw a 10% increase in ad revenue to $286.2M in '13. SI led all sports mags with $545.2M in revenue last year, but that figure was down nearly 6% from '12. See Wednesday's issue for more details on sports magazine revenue figures from '13 (Ourand & Karp, Staff Writers).
BIRD ON A WIRE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes FS Midwest, which has the MLB Cardinals' local TV rights, "plans to increase its number of spring training telecasts" by 50%. There had been a "record number of 10 games last year" and will be 15 this season (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/13).